Date of Original Version

6-2012

Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

Crop yield estimation is an important task in apple orchard management. The current manual sampling-based yield estimation is time-consuming, labor-intensive and inaccurate. To deal with this challenge, we developed a computer vision-based system for automated, rapid and accurate yield estimation. The system uses a two-camera stereo rig for image acquisition. It works at nighttime with controlled artificial lighting to reduce the variance of natural illumination. An autonomous orchard vehicle is used as the support platform for automated data collection. The system scans both sides of each tree row in orchards. A computer vision algorithm detects and registers apples from acquired sequential images, and then generates apple counts as crop yield estimation. We deployed the yield estimation system in Washington state in September, 2011. The results show that the system works well with both red and green apples in the tall-spindle planting system. The crop yield estimation errors are -3.2% for a red apple block with about 480 trees, and 1.2% for a green apple block with about 670 trees.

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Published In

13th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER 2012).